Thursday, 23 October 2014

WordPress Daily Prompt: Ready, Set, Done 5

Our ten-minute free-write is back! Have no mercy on your keyboard as you give us your most unfiltered self (feel free to edit later, or just publish as-is).

Heart Potato

Another ten minute free write which brings as much inspiration as a potato

“I am a heart shaped potato, not every potato is heart shaped.”

“I know, so what am I supposed to write about a heart shaped potato, or will you change into an artichoke if I kiss you.”

“No, not exactly, but I will get wet. You can peel me and perhaps even cook me. I promise I am tasty to the last bite and I won’t scream.”

“How can I kill a heart shaped potato?”

“That’s life. Some are born to write boring daily prompts and others are born to be eaten.”

“I suppose that is true, although I cannot cook and eat a potato that I had a conversation with. It would be murder. You were not the only potato, I bought a whole kilo. I have already cooked the others. Do you think they suffered.? It just so happened that you were heart shaped, so I saved you for a photo.”

“No, of course we were having quite an exciting conversation before we were separated about our futures, boiled or fried. You know, if I am peeled I look even better. Naked potatoes can be really sexy.”

“I never thought of you in that way, you mean that my blog might be banned if I took a photo of you without the outside layer, peel-free.”

“Try it”

“I cannot bring it over my heart to peel you.”

“If you just leave me I will dry out and shrivel and no-one likes a shrivelled potato.”

“Ok, you have convinced me. I will peel you and cook you. What do you prefer hashed browns, mashed potato, French fries or a röschti.”

“Ohhh a röschti sounds good. Really exotic, but fry me in butter. I love butter.”

“And you really don’t mind. It will be death by grating and frying. Can you forgive me?”

“Mrs. Angloswiss, forget it. I am a potato, not a living thing. Think of all the vegetarians that are convinced that eating potatoes has no negative effects on the life of a potato.”

“But we are having a conversation. Hello, hello”

Did I dream that? Or was it just something stupid for a 10 minute writing exercise to keep the guys in the WordPress t-shirts happy. I hate this Thursday prompt. Someone said it reminded them of throwback Thursday. It reminds me of a Throw-away Thursday. Oh and yes, the potato disappeared with some of its brothers and sisters in a röschti.

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Wednesday, 22 October 2014

WordPress Daily Prompt: Imaginary Friend

Many of us had imaginary friends as young children. If your imaginary friend grew up alongside you, what would his/her/its life be like today? (Didn’t have one? write about a non-imaginary friend you haven’t seen since childhood.)

Based on a true story. I did have a Teratom and it was removed. I was born with it and it only began to grow and expand when I was 50 years old and no, Stephen King did not get the idea from me for his novel The Dark Half, although …. Who knows?

Restaurant Decoration in Romford for Halloween

“That is not me, I looked completely different. Typical.”

“Who’s talking?”

“The imaginary friend that you never had and never wanted, but I got my revenge, remember?”

“If I had had an imaginary friend it would definitely not have resembled something from a Halloween comic.”

“How do you know, you never gave me a chance, I could have made you famous. Stephen King would have been nothing in comparison.

“OK, so explain …..”

“Remember that memorable operation you had, the one that lasted seven  hours.”

“You mean the second operation, when they discovered that what they should have removed the first time, after a three hour operation regrew.”

“Yes that’s the one, although if they had done the job properly the first time, I would have been gone forever.”

“But you were just a collection of cells, nothing special. In the Stephen King story they found teeth and hair and all sorts of human spare parts. You were just a blob somewhere in my back.”

“Yes, exactly. If you had not stifled my chances I could have been your identical twin, and perhaps even a Siamese twin. Think of the fun we could have had.”

“Then I think I am glad I did stifle your chances. I wouldn’t exactly describe being a Siamese twin as fun. You were just a normal, average Teratoma which was removed. So how come we are having a conversation. You were eliminated at least ten years ago, and why did you only appear after fifty years.

“It was lonely just sitting around in your back, so I decided to expand. You were having all the fun going places and seeing things and I was just a passenger, although I quite enjoyed it when you had a meal. I had fun absorbing some of the treats, I love ice cream.  Are you sure there were no taste buds in the blob?”

“I really do not know, the surgeon did not give me a detailed description: how come we are having a conversation?”

“I am still sort of hovering, something like a computer cloud or a daily prompt that is there, but does not develop, for some unknown reason, when it shows 0 responses, like today. But I think you were glad. Today you (we?) were busy in the garden clearing the Autumn leaves away. I was actually glad that you removed me, as I noticed you had backache.”

“Oh, thanks, big deal. Yes I had backache bending down picking up the fallen leaves. Just a minute, you were watching me. I had you removed.”

“Stay cool, I am always watching you. Remember when you broke your arm a couple of years ago. I was only trying it out to see if I could materialise. It was just a little push and I really didn’t mean to cause problems.”

“Oh, thanks, I spent a week in hospital afterwards and it was your entire fault. I hope that experiment is finished.”

“Yes, I decided it was boring just laying around in a hospital and now I have found a much better job and I have become famous, although not exactly that everyone knows it is me/us.”

“Tell me about it.”

“I sleeked my way into the cyberworld. I decided if I can be your individual cloud, I might as well have fun and be everyone’s cloud”


“Where do you think the iPad/iPhone/I everything people got the idea of the iCloud?”

“You mean that was us?”

“Oh no, you had me removed remember. This time it was all I, me and myself. There is no longer any us or we. You do your thing and I will do mine, but do not worry, I will always be watching you.”

“No more materialisation experiments?”

There was silence, no-one answered. You are never alone it seems.

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Tuesday, 21 October 2014

WordPress Daily Prompt: Grand Slam

The World Series starts tonight! In your own life, what would be the equivalent of a walk-off home run? (For the baseball-averse, that’s a last-minute, back-against-the-wall play that guarantees a dramatic victory.)

Didier Drogba

“Cough, cough, splutter, splutter” and I just cleaned my computer screen and the keys; rescued them from a fate of clogged up contacts. I was in the process of eating my caramel desert garnished with whipped cream, when I read this prompt, but of course I know what the World Series is. It is when the best cricket team is announced, or perhaps the winner of the Hornuss championships, but wait. Hornuss is only played in Switzerland, particularly in the village of Derendingen and cricket, well if you are Indian, Pakistani, Australian, New Zealander or even British you will know what I am talking about. Then I forgot, they do not have a world cup because it is not played worldwide. Although I thought that the term Grand Slam was applied to tennis (you know where two people – sometimes 4, hit a white ball back and forth). My cats love watching that game on the TV.

Now we are talking about baseball, which is of course played worldwide and we all know that baseball is celebrated everywhere, especially in ……. Yes well, I suppose the States. I was known to play a game called rounders at school. It is similar, but we did not wear those nifty caps with Names engraved on them. I once had a New York Yankees cap, but forgot it in a taxi somewhere in Portugal. I bought a replacement, a white one with Lakers written on it, some team in Los Angeles. I cannot remember where I lost that one, but now I have none, although Mr. Swiss has one with an little fur elk on it. It was an advertising gift from one of his trips to Sweden when he was working for the company beginning with V and ending with O that make trucks. We do not wear it, unless we remove the elk.

By the way the photo is of a famous footballer Didier Drogba (you know the game with the round ball which I believe even the states have now discovered). It was a match being played on 28th April 2008 between Liverpool and Chelsea (two English teams). I took the photo from the TV, hence the bad quality. Why this picture? Because this is how I feel in the morning when I awake: no go, flat out and “do not touch me, I might fall apart” feeling. In the good old days when I was young and lovely (well I was young), I would spring out of bed like a Spring lamb, nothing could stop me. I bounced my way to the kitchen and full of energy prepared my breakfast at the same time (multi-tasking was then no problem) I would be organising the offspring for their day at school. Yes, no holds barred, I was a fountain of youth, a source of inspiration to all.

Today I had an interesting discussion with Mr. Swiss. He found I no longer move as much as I used to. I should go for walks in the fresh air, not just read a book or (oh horror) sit on the computer. I seem to have no energy and it would definitely be to my benefit to be more active. I was compared to a machine that gathers rust with age. I had to agree as I often feel like a rusty machine.. It was an inspirational talk and I decided that today I would take a walk in the open air and write my daily prompt Pulitzer prize suspicious entry later. Unfortunately we are now experiencing strong winds with dark clouds gathering and the temperature has fallen. Is today Armageddon? This changed my mind. I decided this back-against-the-wall situation was not my thing. It would definitely guarantee something dramatic, but not quite a victory: more one of my unfortunate accidents where a gust of wind would catch me off balance and cause an emergency situation. So, as usual I am sitting at my newly cleaned computer (the whipped cream and caramel stains have been removed) and am writing my prompt. I decided that a Tai Chi practice would take place when I am finished as a compensation for not taking my death defying walk in nature.

Before I draw to a close I would mention that today is a memorable day. No, it is not the world series (although it coincides with the beginning of the World Series), it is Mr. Swiss birthday. We celebrated by me cooking a five star meal. Of course telegrams and congratulations were pouring in from all over the place. The Swiss government have not yet sent their telegram, but perhaps he is too young.

Anyhow happy birthday love, and may there be many more (I bet he won’t read this blog, too busy listening to music on the computer).

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Monday, 20 October 2014

WordPress Daily Prompt: Finite Creatures

At what age did you realize you were not immortal? How did you react to that discovery?

Present from my cats

This is a dead mouse. The mouse is not blurred because it was moving, it was my hand shaking with the camera. This mouse was probably completely convinced that he was immortal until he met my cats. Even then the thought probably did not cross his mousey mind that it was be the last encounter of his life.  My felines were proud (I cannot remember which one it was) and brought the mouse to show me. I picked it up by using an inverted small plastic bag, and it went to the happy mouse hunting grounds.

What a happy go lucky prompt we have today, but it is food for thought I suppose. Was it the first time when I killed a fly, leaving his squashed remains on the window pane or was it on one of my early childhood walks over the cemetery? Mum made a habit of taking me to the cemetery when I was a kid. We visited a large grave, containing five departed, the last being my maternal grandmother who I never really knew. I do not think that mum knew who else was in the grave, it was all before her time, but the names helped me when I was exploring for my family tree. There was still room for one apparently and that was going to be my grandfather, although he stayed around for a few years, being almost 90 when he decided to fill up the grave. I often wondered if he new that his place was secure. Growing up in such earthly circumstances it never crossed my mind that I might still be here when Armageddon arrived. By the first shower of frogs and the arrival of the four horsemen of the apolocalypse my time would come in any case.

Oh, come on, there was never philosophical discussions in our family about life and death, it just happened and I grew up with it. It never entered my mind to be immortal; I just got on with life.

Living in Switzerland casts a different outlook on existing or not going to the next step on the journey. I remember when I moved into the Swiss way of life and we had a daily Swiss newspaper. There were always 2-3 pages included (according to the death toll) with large black square outlined boxes showing names and dates of life spans. Details were given when and where the funeral was taking place, or already had taken place (those that wished to get it done and done with without a big party) and the near relatives were neatly listed at the bottom. No. you could not get away with being immortal in Switzerland, everyone knew when you were gone. “Did you see xxxx has passed away?” “Yes, there was an obituary in the newspaper, he was older/younger than I thought.” When the daily newspaper arrives in the post box you do not study the headlines, you turn to the last pages and see who is no longer amongst us.

There is a disturbing detail in this whole thing about “let’s read the obituaries”. I am now 68 years old, not exactly fit, but still writing the daily prompt and looking forward to writing many daily prompts. One day there will no longer be a daily prompt written by me. Do not be disappointed, there is always someone else that will write a daily prompt and Wordy, being immortal, will let you know I am sure. Not that Wordy was asked, but he just needs a touch of oil and a few new screws and he is as good as new.

I have also noticed, much to my regret, that the birth years of the deceased in these black surrounded boxes in the newspaper, are approaching mine. Ok, we all have to go one day, but I do not have to have a daily reminder. I think I will stop reading the newspaper. Mr. Swiss has just returned from his daily afternoon walk, guess where he was? Yes, he took a walk over the cemetery and was annoyed to notice that the gardener had not yet replaced the flowers on the grave for the Winter season. It seems he is probably overworked at the moment, everyone wants their grave to look good for Winter, especially as Halloween is approaching. You have to keep the spirits happy.

On this happy note I will leave you and hope to return tomorrow with some more words of wisdom.

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Sunday, 19 October 2014

WordPress Daily Prompt: Fourth Wall

You get to spend a day inside your favorite movie. Tell us which one it is — and what happens to you while you’re there.

Casablanca super super

“Hello Mrs. Angloswiss, are you ready for the big day shooting for Casablanca?”

“I certainly am Wordy, how do you think I look. I really don’t want to disappoint all those stars, especially Humphrey Bogart.”

“A little too much colour Mrs. Angloswiss. It is a black and white film, they didn’t do colour in those days. That red dress will look a little too dark grey, and the shoes to match will not work. Try something in black and white.

“Err Wordy, I thought this would be my big break. And what about a Bruce Willis or Brad Pitt film, they were the first on my list. You know at the end when the romance arrives and the last scene shows me in their arms, waiting to be carried away.”

“We had a small problem Mrs. Angloswiss. In the Bruce Willis films there are not many female parts, and they are usually killed off in the first part of the picture and WordPress cannot afford the life insurance, you know funeral costs etc. Only the toughest survive and your grey hair might not be so good for the part. Bruce Willis shaved his hair off, so it doesn’t notice so much. But with you …..”

“Wordy are you suggesting I would have to shave my hair to get a part in a Bruce Willis film. I was thinking on the lines of the role of his ex-wife in Die Hard. She was a heroine.”

“Doesn’t work Mrs. Angloswiss, too much copyright involved and film contracts. Bonny Bedelia, the lady playing the leading part, objects. It diminishes her film star value.”

“So I have to make do with Fight Club?”

“Not exactly. Both Jennifer Anniston and Angelina Jolie raised objections to having you as a main leading female part, although they gave their permission for a role as a female boxing champion. With a little make-up for the bruises and scars it would work.”

“Wordy, if you continue, I will show you how good a punch I can land on your nose.”

“Stay cool Mrs. Angloswiss. No problem, Casablanca, your third choice,  is OK, The copyrights on the film were exhausted some time ago and there is no-one to object, so step this way.”

“You mean I can take the part that Ingrid Bergman played: Rick’s girlfriend and faithful companion. I can see Rick gently placing his hand under my chin and raising it so that our eyes meet and saying “Here’s looking at you kid”. Oh my legs feel quite shaky at the thought of it.”

“Not exactly Mrs Angloswiss, we were thinking more in the way of playing the role of Ricks’s previous girlfriend, Yvonne.”


“She said a few lines in the film, it is quite an important part.”

“But she was the one that was drunk most of the time and a fight started.”

“We will give you a bottle of whisky before the filming.”

“I can play “As Time goes By” on the piano, I could be the one playing when Rick says “Play it again”.

“Mrs. Angloswiss, you are not the type meant for that role.

Just follow me Mrs. Angloswiss for your big break”

What chance did I have. WordPress were paying (at least I didn’t have to wear a t-shirt for the part) and were transporting me to 1942 when the film was made (I wasn’t even born then). Things went quite well actually, although I got a little wet in the last scene when Claude Rains and Humphrey Bogart were saying good-by. It was raining and I had the job of holiding the umbrella over Humphrey Bogart (although they removed that from the film).

I should have chosed The Gladiator, Russell Crowe looked quite good in the leading role, but knowing my luck I would have been placed as a female gladiator, being mauled to death by a lion, although perhaps Russell might have taken me in his arms and closed my eyes in a last gesture.

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Saturday, 18 October 2014

WordPress Daily Prompt: Circuitous Paths

A stranger knocks on your door, asking for directions from your home to the closest gas station (or café, or library. Your pick!). Instead of the fastest and shortest route, give him/her the one involving the most fun detours.

Bürgerspital Solothurn

`Twas early in the evening when a knock came at my door. It would have been a dark night, had it not been for a full blood moon. I looked through the peep hole. I do not open doors in the evening when I am not expecting visitors. I saw nothing, the light had not been activated and it was dark, black as Newgate’s knocker as my dear old mum used to say. It was one of her favourite sayings, comparing the darkness to the door knocker of the famous London prison, where she met her end.

Shall I open the door? I decided to take the risk. What could possibly happen and there would be enough light streaming through the windows from the moon, be it with a red tinge. Did I hear the caw of a raven, did I feel a cold shiver creep along my spine. No, but I always had a low temperature.

I decided to open the door.

“Who goes there?” I called.

“Oh mistress, it is only I, a poor lost traveller searching for the right path.”

I took a step nearer. A figure stood at the door wearing a long black cloak. Luckily his teeth were long and shiny, especially the fangs at the top corners of his mouth which shed some light on his appearance.

“I am lost” he said “can you tell me where the nearest blood bank is?”

I felt immediately sorry for this night visitor: being lost on a cold night was bad enough, but not knowing where the local blood bank is, is a fate not to be envied.

“But you look so weary and you must be feeling cold. Come in and warm yourself. Would you like a glass of spirits as refreshment before you go on your way.”

The figure seemed to be watching me from his eyes which had an accompanying red shimmer, or was it the reflection from the blood moon.

“Thank you mistress, very kind. Perhaps a bloody Mary to warm my heart. Heart? No forget it I do not have one. You are inviting me in? You have made me so happy. It is not everyone that invites me into their home.”

He almost flew through the door and got quite close. I decided to remain polite, even if he did have a sort of curious decaying smell about him.

“I always invite lost strangers into my chambers. What more can I do for you?”

And then we were disturbed. I was not disturbed, but my pet werewolf Cuddles was awakened by the noise. He was howling again, prompted by the moonlight. He arrived and sniffed around the visitor, licking the visitor’s fingers. Cuddles was a large werewolf, so when he pounced on the visitor knocking him down I was annoyed.

“Cuddles, this man is lost, he asked me to help him. Stop bothering him and take his finger out of your mouth, you do not know where it has been. I am so sorry Mr. ermmmm.”

“Just call me Vlad. What a sweet little werewolf you have. Come Cuddles let me stroke your nose.”

“Mr. Vlad I would be careful, he is very sensitive about having his nose touched.”

Cuddles pulled back his jaws showing his nicely sharpened teeth. It was the day when I had taken him to the vets to have his claws cut and usually the vet combines it with teeth sharpening. It saves money to have both jobs done at the same time. And then Cuddles began to rub his ears on the visitor’s cloak.”

“Oh that’s OK” said my visitor Vlad. I quite like dogs, especially the werewolf breed and they love me.. I have a way with werewolves. Perhaps he could show me the way to the blood bank. Would you like to accompany us?”

I decided yes, it was time for a moonlight excursion, not every day a blood moon appears.

“I don’t have a car and it is quite a distance to walk. I only have my broomstick.”

“No problem mistress. You can mount your broomstick and I will fly next to you.”

“Fine, it is only five minutes as the vampire/witch flies and Cuddles will be keeping watch on the path.”

It is not every day that I have such a nice visitor. We had fun and I pointed out the various graves as we flew over the cemetery. Eventually we arrived at the blood bank in the local hospital. Mr. Vlad was so happy, he was thirsty. Even Cuddles managed to catch a few rats on the way. I had already set up a cauldron at home and the frog’s tongues and asparagus were already cooking in the spawn liquid. My mouth was watering already.

Of course I invited Mr. Vlad back to my place afterwards and he stayed a few days. Luckily I had a second hand coffin in the garden shed where he could sleep. I always knew it would come in handy.

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